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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Monday, March 31, 2008

The elephant in the room

Lots of people are talking quietly about it, but I haven't really heard anyone question publically about what has happened to the Blogher Ad revenue lately. I've heard countless people comment that their revenue has been seriously diminished, and I've even seen some people give up and take Blogher ads off their site. But I've yet to see anyone from Blogher explain why the revenue has dropped so much. Everyone has their numbers. I've read over and over that as people's hit counts increase, their revenue decreases. I've seen that on my own blog as well. What was a fairly decent revenue a few months back halved, and then halved again all the while my hit count doubled.

I don't really understand why this has happened. I'd like to hear it addressed by the Blogher representatives. But they have ignored it so long, I think they're trying to just pretend it isn't happening. But it is. And they need to talk about why.

Many of the ads that have been rotating recently are ads about Blogher itself, and about charitable organizations. My feeling is, we're giving Blogher free advertising, which bugs the crap out of me, and the charitable organizations aren't paid for either. These aren't the small buttons that we all voted for years ago when the idea of posting charitable buttons in place of ads when there was nothing to put up first occurred. Nope, these are large, professional ads and they're eating up revenue.

No, I'm not a bitch for being a bit irritated that we're pushing charities on our blogs. I give large amounts of my small income to charity, and I also volunteer for charity. I believe in charity. That's not the problem. I think that Blogher isn't being particularly honest and aboveboard about their relationship to these charitable organizations.

I am also concerned that the ad network is growing too quickly so the original rates for ads and has diluted the amount each blogger receives. Opening up the network again might have been an error in judgement, especially if it causes other long time members to leave the network rather than to have non-earning ads on their blogs.

Today Erin was ranting about how we are brands, and we are professionals selling our blogs to corporations. Well, Blogher is a corporation and I feel like they aren't buying into the whole blogs as brands thing. Nor are they dealing with bloggers honestly about why the revenues have falling so drastically. I feel like they ought to practice what they preach. Their ads run on our blogs 24/7 and yet the revenue is absolutely paltry. It didn't used to be, but it is now. I can't see a difference between Blogher Ads and any other ad company at this point.

If MommyBlogging is a business, then I, for one, want to hear honestly why the ad revenues have dropped. I think Blogher owes every person in their ad network that respect and honestly.

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6 Comments:

Blogger mrsmogul said...

Yes I have noticed this too. A year ago I made double the revenue and now that I have the highest hits ever, the payout is low! Hmm interesting....

31/3/08 8:01 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

Frankly, just between you and me and the rest of the Blogosphere, I think Blogher is taking bloggers for a ride. They've harnessed the power of the blogosphere to their benefit, all the while pretending that they are some beneficent force. They're in it to make a buck like everybody else.

Not judging you, or anybody else who has blog ads. I just don't like that we are being used to promote conspicuous consumption. I know that advertising makes the world go round, but its one of my hugest pet peeves.

Everything these days is inundated with ads. Several large historical venues here have recently changed their names to reflect their corporate sponsors. Lakewood Amphitheatre, which has been Lakewood Amphitheatre for eons, is now Coca-Cola Amphitheatre.

Except for a very few of my most favorite blogs, I have made a point to avoid blogs with Blogher Ads in particular, because they are take so freaking long to load.

Admittedly, I am completely ignorant of how the ad revenues are assessed, but could that have something to do with it?

31/3/08 8:30 PM  
Blogger bethany actually said...

Yeah, I talked to some people about this before I was eligible for BlogHer ads...and then they closed the window on me anyway. But I think now I wouldn't go with BlogHer anyway, for the reasons you describe.

Bummer.

31/3/08 8:57 PM  
Blogger jess said...

I haven't noticed any huge increases or decreases, but my traffic has been fairly consistent. I have been dismayed, however, by the promise of "huge" ad campaigns that never happened. Instead BlogHer ads and PSA's.

I shrug my shoulders and wonder too.

1/4/08 12:27 AM  
Blogger Lisa Stone said...

Hi Margalit,

I just read your post and wanted to make sure you saw the newsletter we emailed to all BlogHerAds members on March 7. The newsletter included this message:

"We've heard from some of you that the volume of ad campaigns this winter has not been what you hoped for. We want to assure you that everyone at BlogHer hears those concerns, and we take them extremely seriously. Our sales team continues to work hard and innovate, and we're seeing the fruits of their labor this month and in the coming months. Bringing high quality, well-paying inventory to your blogs is our top priority."

"We appreciate your membership in the BlogHerAds network, and we are always delighted to answer your questions and address your concerns. If you'd like to discuss additional ad sizes, please let us know!"

In order to compete in today's economy, with many new ad networks following in our footsteps, BlogHer has received feedback from sponsors that we need to reach millions of women in order to bring major campaigns to our network. Now that BlogHer's Ad Network reaches between eight and nine million unique visitors a month according to Nielsen Netratings Site Census, we have access to new opportunities and we are excited about what we can all accomplish together. We continue to work around the clock to close new campaigns. A new Ragu ad campaign starts on our parenting network today. (We actually have three campaigns starting today – Gripe Water, My Publisher and Ragu.)

I also should clarify: BlogHer has always and does continue to pay for house ads, by which I mean any ads promoting BlogHer. Our standard rate is a $4 cpm straight to the blogger. Examples of house ads include ads promoting BlogHer's Business Conference and a recent campaign about our food ad network. Another paid house ad campaign promoting our exclusive interview with Eve Ensler of V-Day begins today or tomorrow. You're correct, we are not able to pay for public service announcements for charities recommended by members of our network, but, to your question, I can assure you that BlogHer receives zero compensation from these worthy organizations. And, as always, you may opt out of any campaign, including the house ads or PSAs, at any time.

BlogHer began our ad network in 2006 in response to the urging of members of our community. Since then, the policies I describe above have been our standard policies. And we're very proud that, as a network, we continue to be open to blogs of all sizes and topics.

If anyone has any questions about their blog specifically, the BlogHerAds team is always available for questions.

Thanks Margalit.

1/4/08 9:25 AM  
OpenID chloefieri said...

I suspect ad revenues have dropped because there are more bloggers and fewer advertisers. My first thought was "What ads? Margalit has 30-some stickers and widgets on her page (and boy do those slow down the load time!)but I've never seen a Blogher ad. Oh, wait. I, and everyone else who uses a recent version of Firefox, don't see the ads. Of course if we don't see the ads we don't click the ads and advertisers don't pay up. The marketplace has spoken. Mommybloggers will just have to suck it up.

2/4/08 12:52 PM  

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